All posts by Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington writes all over the internet about cars. He was (probably accidentally) interviewed to be the host of the next Top Gear USA.

Why BMW Is Ceasing the Production of Diesel Cars in the U.S.

Diesel cars have been a major part of the BMW lineup since they were introduced in the 1980s as a response to the oil crisis of the late 1970s. The design celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, which makes BMW’s decision to stop producing diesel cars in the United States all the more surprising.

Why is the German car giant ditching it’s diesel engines, and what will be appearing in its place?

Dropping Sales and Emissions Concerns

The demand for diesel cars has been declining in recent years, even in Europe, where they’ve been so popular until now. European diesel sales are expected to drop to 5 percent of new car sales by 2030, and in the United States, diesel sales have suffered in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal of 2017.

Volkswagen was found guilty of modifying their diesel car’s emissions systems so that they would appear to pass emissions tests, but it was actually generating more CO2 and other emissions than was legal. It resulted in a massive recall, and only 222 Volkswagen diesel vehicles were sold in January of that year. The year before, January sales were nearly 4500.

The Rise of the Plug-In Hybrid


2018 will mark the end of BMW’s diesel line in the United States. That means some models, like the 540d xDrive, will only be available in the States for a single year.

This doesn’t mean the BMW model line will be shrinking dramatically, though — in spite of the rather abrupt announcement, the manufacturer has also announced it will be releasing several plug-in hybrids to replace the diesel models being removed from the lineup.

These may end up being a better idea for BMW in the long run, especially in North America, where eco-minded drivers are giving up their gas-guzzling cars in favor of hybrid or electric alternatives.

BMW isn’t the only manufacturer jumping on the green energy bandwagon. GM is planning on eventually phasing out all of its gasoline-powered vehicles sometime in the future, but will be introducing at least 20 totally electric models by 2023. Ford is planning on launching 13 new electric or hybrid models in the same timeline. Volvo is planning on rolling out electric cars for its entire line as early as next year.

2014 BMW All-Electric i3 Press Drive.


Replacing its diesel models with plug-in hybrids might be one of the smartest things BMW has done in a long time.

Industry experts haven’t released any information yet about the exact specs of the new hybrids, though they probably won’t be ready to roll out for the 2019 model year. For drivers who have their hearts set on owning a new diesel BMW, only a few are left on the showroom floors, but they won’t be there for long.

New hybrids might be changing the face of the BMW lineup, but they definitely won’t be sacrificing their luxurious designs in favor of better gas mileage. New information will hopefully be available at the end of this year or the beginning of 2019.

What to Do If You Crash Your BMW

No one wants to think about car accidents, but no matter how safely you drive, they can happen to anyone. Whether you’re driving to work, to school or just to the grocery store in your BMW, what should you do if you accidentally drive your car into a storefront or other building?

A Look at the Statistics

Accidents between cars and buildings are more common than most people think. On average, there are 60 accidents where a car strikes a building every single day in the United States alone. These accidents result in upwards of 4,000 injuries and 500 fatalities every year.

While the majority of these accidents are the result of operator error and pedal error, many of them could be prevented with the installation of bollards — steel or concrete poles secured to the sidewalk outside the business. These bollards are designed to take the impact of a car instead of letting the car strike the storefront, potentially injuring pedestrians or customers.

What should you do if you crash your BMW into a store?

Assess

As with any car accident, the first thing you need to do is to assess the situation. Are you injured? Are any of the passengers in your car injured? Is the car dangerous — on fire, or billowing smoke? If you aren’t obviously injured, you can get out of your BMW to assess the situation. If you are hurt and the car is safe, the best idea is to stay in the car — moving after an accident can end up making the injury worse.

You’ll also want to call 911 and let them know there has been an accident so emergency workers can respond.

Collect

Step two is to collect information from anyone involved in the accident. If you end up striking a storefront, this will include exchanging information with the store owner or the manager on duty. You will also want to collect contact information from any witnesses. The first responders will also gather this information, but it can be useful to have in case your insurance company requests it.

Report

Once the police have finished their work and you are free to go, get a copy of the police report and contact your insurance company to let them know you’ve been in an accident. They will contact the store’s insurance and will likely request a copy of the police report.

Once you’ve reported the accident to your insurance company, they will handle the majority of the rest of the process. They may contact you again if you were injured or if they need any additional information.

Go

Finally, whether you feel injured or not, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. The soft-tissue injuries caused by car accidents such as whiplash can take days or weeks to manifest symptoms, so it’s important to get checked out.

Getting in to see your doctor soon can also help you out with your insurance company. If you wait more than two weeks to see your doctor, it becomes more difficult to pin the blame for the injury on your accident, so if you are out of work because of injury, you will want that paper trail to pass on to the insurance company.

Accidents happen, no matter who you are, so the only thing you can do is be prepared for them when they do occur. Knowing how to respond in the event of an accident can help the recovery process go a little more smoothly.

How to Protect Your BMW From Theft

There’s nothing quite like adding a new BMW to your collection, but bringing home this marvel of German engineering can make you a target for thieves. These cars are popular targets because even the older models can be worth quite a bit of money, either to collectors or for parts. If your newest addition is a BMW, what can you do to protect yourself and your investment from car thieves?

Lock Your Doors

It might seem like common sense, but many modern car thefts are made possible because people neglect to lock their cars. Most car thieves are looking for easy marks – most are walking around testing car doors. If they find an unlocked door, it just takes them a minute or two to clear out anything valuable in the car.

Start out by just locking your car doors anytime you walk away from your vehicle. It might not seem like much, and it might not discourage serious car thieves, but it will discourage casual thieves and hopefully keep your car and your belongings safer.

Don’t Use Your Car for Storage

It’s tempting to lock your belongings in your car so you don’t have to carry them around or lug them in and out of your house, but leaving belongings – especially high dollar items – will make your car more attractive to potential thieves. Even if you lock your car doors, a thief can easily break your window and steal any visible items.

If you absolutely have to store items in your car, lock them in your trunk before you arrive at your destination. Putting stuff in your trunk once you’re there just lets thieves know where your expensive belongings are.

Have Somewhere to Store Your Car

Parking your car in the driveway might be more convenient, but it also makes it more vulnerable to thieves. Having somewhere to store your car when you’re not driving it can help protect it from criminals by making it a more difficult target.

You might think your car is secure in your garage, but if your door is crooked in its track, it might not be as safe as you think. Whether the door has become crooked because the rollers aren’t running correctly, or because the torsion spring has broken, it prevents it from being able to keep your car safe and secure during storage.

Opt for Newer Cars

While a classic BMW might be a great addition to your collection, it’s important to remember that older cars are more prone to theft because they don’t have the advanced security measures that newer cars have. If you have your heart set on a classic BMW, make sure that you’ve got a secure place to store it when you’re not driving it.

BMW’s are a favorite target for thieves, especially the high-dollar newer models or collectibles. Make sure that you double-check your locks and your garage door to ensure that your car is secure.